A team of women in Jeddah are proving to the Kingdom that nothing can stop them from achieving their goals. These twelve Saudi Arabian women who are deaf recently came together to form a group of bowlers that have been training to take part in bowling competitions across the Gulf region. The team, which comprises official members of Jeddah’s Deaf Club, was assembled by Faiza Natto, the President of the Deaf Club for Women (DCW) in Jeddah and member of the Saudi Deaf Sports Federation.
Speaking to Al Arabiya English, Natto explained that the idea of creating the bowling team has been several years in the making and took a bit of time to become a reality due to lack of funding. Now, thanks to the generosity of the team’s main donors such as Al-Anoud Khaled Badr al-Aslab, official training has begun and the team is getting ready to take on the region. According to Natto, the team already has several coaches and training sessions “were scheduled once a week at the beginning to test its sustainability, but eventually it increased to three times a week.”
This bowling team is the first of its kind in the Kingdom and has received attention from not only private donors and the private sector, but the government of Saudi Arabia as well. In addition, Natto explained that the team’s existence and future plans have been largely made possible thanks to the club’s Chairman of the Supreme Council, and first supporter, Princess Nouf bint Miqrin bin Abdulaziz.
According to Saudi Press Agency, the deaf community in Saudi Arabia exceeds 720,000 people, according to statistics dating to 2010 from the Ministry of Economy and Planning. Over the last few years, the Kingdom has been taken steps to improve the life of all its citizens, including those with special needs. Last year, for instance, Saudi Arabian television channels introduced sign language to their main news bulletins.